Caring about the environment shouldn’t mean having to smell like a compost heap, but sometimes Mother Nature’s fan club disagrees.
Chip Bergh, Levi’s CEO and the man with the world’s most Caucasian-sounding name, says he hasn’t washed his jeans in a year. Why? Because it makes your denim last longer and it’s better for the environment due to less water being wasted. He said that real denim aficionados will tell you not to wash your jeans at all, but to spot-clean them with a toothbrush and some detergent.
That sounds pretty fucking gross to me. Then again, if you’re the CEO of Levi’s, chances are good that your wardrobe is vastly superior to mine. He probably has 365 pairs of jeans with 365 matching jean jackets in the walk-in closet of his denim mansion. So maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds with that many pairs in the rotation.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this nasty no-wash trend. Anderson Cooper said that he wears the same pair of jeans every day and washes them every six months or so with soap in his shower before air-drying them. He didn’t mention any environmental reasons for doing this, so we have to assume it’s because he’s a naughty, dirty, filthy boy. You’d think Mr. Cooper would work up a sweat while hopping out of his Coopermobile to save Haitians all the time. But maybe if you’re blessed with genetics that make you look like a gay version of Roger Sterling, you don’t get stinky even in the most sweat-inducing environments.
Not washing your clothes isn’t the grossest thing I’ve heard of in the name of sustainability. In 2007 Sheryl Crow made some strange comments about limiting the amount of toilet paper one can use per bathroom visit to one square. She said that two or three squares could be used if you really need it. For the past seven years every time I hear the name Sheryl Crow I wonder how thickly caked ass-crust can be with seven years of build-up.
Sometimes people are so determined to do the right thing that they forget not to make everyone around them miserable in the process. The fellow humans with whom you share the planet have needs. We need you to stop using shitty natural deodorant so we don’t have to smell your filthy armpits. We’d appreciate not having to waft a year’s worth of ball odor through your lucky pair of Levi’s. And we need you and the company you work for to stop trying so hard to foster an image of caring about the environment.
All methods for saving the planet are not created equal. Turning off the lights when I leave a room, recycling cans, and not letting the sink run while I brush my teeth are all solutions that don’t involve me smelling like shit. I’m on board with those. Not washing my jeans, not showering, or using natural deodorant that leaves me smelling like a day laborer? Those aren’t going to work for me.
No one is going to want to listen to you if you stink. May I recommend Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps? They’re all-natural and they even include some anti-GMO stuff on their labeling amidst all the crazy God talk. You guys will love it! And when you smell better, I’ll be much more receptive to your suggestions to help the planet. Use a little bit to wash your jeans and I might even let you convince me to hate Pat Sajak.